Thanks for reaching out to me.
What hurts you in particular is your GMAT. It is not a competitive score for your particular applicant pool. You are going to need to get in the low to mid 700s to be at par with the rest of your applicant pool.
This being said (and I hate being the bearer of bad news) and based on the limited information that I have, programs in the top 20 are most likely far out of
reach. This would include Duke, Haas and Cornell. I would look at programs around the 20 + mark in the business school rankings.
I do understand you you have some mitigating circumstances - female, dance, somewhat non-traditional work experience - but this won't be enough to overcome your low test scores, including a TOEFL score that should break 100 or so.
The other thing you need to consider is how you are going to explain your switch to the NFP world. What goal is that getting you towards? I would focus on developing shorter and longer term goals that logically build on your current personal and professional experiences. Remember that failure to clearly articulate these goals and the factors contributing to them are among the most common reasons for rejection.
One more thing - you have to focus on your fit with the school. For example, its not clear why you want to go to Cornell? Hospitality Management? Because that is a separate program from the MBA one. Anyway, it is important to recognize the most underrated aspect of the admissions process, demonstrating fit.
I am a 26 year old female from India and applying to US business schools in 2012. I have a GMAT of 640 (Q:45 / V:34 / AWA:4) and a TOEFL score of 96. I have worked for 4 years as a marketing executive in India in the hospitality industry. I have worked for two different hotel groups 1) 1 yr at a large single hotel located in the commercial center in the capital city of India 2) ~3 yrs at a large multi-national and multi-brand hotel chain, with responsibility for nationwide (India) marketing. I had hit a ceiling at my company and without an MBA they were not willing to promote me further or give me additional responsibilities. So I quit and for last 2 months, I have been working as a full-time volunteer for an NGO for differently-abled and underprivileged children. By the time I join a business school (hopefully), I would have worked at this NGO for almost 1 year. I am passionate about dance and was part of a professional dance group for 5 years (alongside my college and job). Both at college and as part of this dance group, I have performed at multiple shows with audiences of 1,000+ people and won many awards. I have an undergraduate degree in English (Hons.) where I studied English, History and Philosophy. I was very active in my college’s dance and theatre society. Indian colleges do not have a GPA system. I would consider myself a firm mid-tier performer academically.
I am very keen on continuing a career in marketing. Can you kindly advise which schools will best suit my profile? I am keen on Duke, Haas and Cornell.
Thank you very much in advance.
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